Commonly Used Brand Names in the United States
Coumadin (warfarin)
Note: More powerful blood thinners, such as Fragmin (dalteparin), heparin, and Lovenox (enoxaparin), are usually administered in the hospital so that patients can be closely watched for complications. A new form of heparin (called low molecular weight heparin) may be prescribed for home use under a doctor’s supervision. Examples include Innohep (tinzaparin sodium) and Orgaran (danaparoid sodium).

Therapeutic Uses of Blood Thinners
Blood thinners prevent blood clots from forming or growing, but they cannot dissolve blood clots that have already formed. These medicines reduce the risk for heart attack, stroke, and blood vessel blockages.

Blood thinners are prescribed for:
• Atrial fibrillation (an arrhythmia)
• Mechanical heart valve replacement
Congestive heart failure (CHF)

How Blood Thinners Work
Blood thinners are an anti-clotting type of medicine called an anticoagulant. These medicines do not thin the blood; they decrease its ability to clot. Decreased clotting prevents blood clots from forming and blocking blood vessels. Oral anticoagulants come in a pill form that is swallowed.


The information in this section is meant to provide a brief description of this medicine. It does not cover all of the possible uses, warnings, dosages, side effects, or interactions with other medicines and vitamin or herbal supplements. This information should not be used as medical advice for individual problems.


Texas Heart Institute
American Heart Association

Updated December 2009